Packers 2017 Recap: WR Randall Cobb
Randall Cobb might be the most difficult player on the Packers to evaluate. On the one hand, he’s still a lightning quick (though not overly fast) slot presence who can shake the likes of Richard Sherman if he has to. On the other, his production hasn’t matched his reputation in quite some time.
Some of that, to be sure, could be attributed to who was throwing him the ball in 2017, but even with Brett Hundley was the one doing the passing, Cobb’s production didn’t crater entirely.
- Appeared in 15 games with 14 starts (743 snaps on offense)
- 66 receptions, 653 yards (9.9 avg), 4 TD
- 10 carries, 19 yards
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met
What we said after last season
Your opinion of Randall Cobb’s 2016 probably depends largely on the stats you choose to believe. His raw numbers are among the worst of his career. His 60 catches are the lowest he’s had in any full season other than his rookie year, as are his four touchdowns.
But according to Pro Football Focus, Cobb’s 2016 season was his second best as a pro, and he finished the year as the Packers’ second rated receiver.
At times in 2017, Cobb looked like the dynamic world beater Packers’ fans have come to expect since his explosive 2014 season. In the Packers’ opening game, Cobb was targeted 13 times going up against a very solid Seattle secondary, producing nine receptions for 85 yards.
Likewise, against the Carolina Panthers, Cobb was targeted 14 times and caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, the score coming on a dynamic catch-and-run from 33-yards out. Cobb likely would have scored a game breaking 74-yard touchdown had Aaron Rodgers not underthrown a pass down the middle.
But sprinkled in between those two games, Cobb had plenty of forgettable outings: two catches for 15 yards against the Saints, three for 34 against the Ravens, two for 22 in the second Minnesota game.
And those would probably be forgivable given two factors. First, Brett Hundley’s abysmal vision from the pocket limited the receiving totals for every Packers receiver in 2017. But secondly, and probably more importantly, Cobb’s salary. If he wasn’t paid quite so highly as he is, diminished productivity would be easier to swallow.
Cobb has a bit of a sales job ahead of him this offseason. New general manager Brian Gutekunst says he wants more competition on his roster, and that should include veterans who have already signed their rich second contracts. If Cobb intends to continue making the money he’s scheduled to make, he needs to convince Gutekunst and other decision makers that he can justify the contract he signed years ago. His 2018 depends on it.